A surge in Germany before VAT tax rates rise helped new car sales in Europe rise 3.9% in November, with Fiat, Volkswagen and Toyota leading the charge, industry data showed on Friday.

According to Reuters, Nissan posted a second consecutive month of solid sales while sister company Renault lost more than a full percentage point of market share.

New car registrations in Europe rose for a second month in a row to 1.22m vehicles, bringing market growth in the first 11 months to a scant 0.8%, the news agency said.

"With the number of working days comparable with respect to November 2005 across the whole region ... this result was positively influenced by a sound performance of the German market," Brussels-based carmakers group ACEA reportedly said.

Reuters noted that the ACEA data reflect registrations in all European Union countries except Malta and Cyprus and includes Norway, Switzerland and Iceland.

Excluding the newest EU members, registrations rose 3.9% last month to 1.16m vehicles, the report added.